Dallas Stars Daily Links: There Are NHL Defenders, And Then There’s Miro Heiskanen
Mike Heika suggests we just make that official right now. Plus, a couple of hard looks at the Thanksgiving Cutoff, the NHL’s pandemic plan for the Winter Olympics, and more.
Miro Heiskanen shut down Connor McDavid on Tuesday night, and if you spent any time on Oilers Twitter, you’d think McJesus was playing the refs all evening.
But McDavid was no victim of non-calls, or even much of his own mistakes. One of the NHL’s leading scorers just hit a brick wall in the form of Heiskanen’s increasingly renowned stickwork.
Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika lays out in digital text what many Dallas Stars fans have been thinking – that as early as it is, as hard as it can be to judge history on the fly, Heiskanen is every bit as good as you think he is:
Heiskanen might be one of the best stick men in the NHL. Heck, he might even be the best. Who knows, he might be one of the best of all time - it’s tough to measure this stuff.
But if you ever wanted a display of how good the 22-year-old defenseman can be, it was Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers and two-time Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid. Heiskanen drew a lot of ice time against McDavid, and the speedy center was held off the scoresheet for the first time this season. That’s right, McDavid finished with no goals, no assists and three harmless shots on goal.
That’s how good Heiskanen was.
He is, in fact, good enough to beat the NHL’s best at his own game:
McDavid is pretty special himself with the stick and at one point had Heiskanen chasing the puck while he danced around by the goal line. A few minutes later, however, Heiskanen showed in open ice why he’s so special.
McDavid was bearing down in the offensive zone at full speed trying to create the kind of memorable highlight that has filled hockey shows for the past month. But just as it appeared McDavid might turn the corner, Heiskanen swept the puck away harmlessly to the boards and the shift pretty much ended there.
There’s more at Mike’s place, including some observations from Stars legend Jere Lehtinen – who, don’t forget, will be instrumental in helping Finland put together its Olympic roster. [Dallas Stars]
It’s game night! So don’t forget the slightly early start time.
An early start to your Friday night with the Stars 💫— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 26, 2021
🆚 Colorado Avalanche
📻 @DFWTicket@Toyota | #TexasHockey pic.twitter.com/mwpTouxiw0
As Jake Oettinger gets the confirmed start, The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks points directly at the elephant in the room.
In the last two weeks, it’s been pretty clear Jake Oettinger has been the best goaltender.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) November 26, 2021
The only question is whether Oettinger has been top dog just on the Stars or across the entire NHL. https://t.co/HZ0XNbvXVK
A victory tonight could go a long way toward setting the Stars on a playoffs-bound course. DBD’s David Castillo finds good and bad news in his new piece for D Magazine.
My latest: the Dallas Stars are gonna miss the famous "Thanksgiving Cutoff" when it comes to playoff pace but they *sort of* profile like the teams that defied the odds. https://t.co/2RPBWwSKCB via @DMagazine— David Castillo (@DavidCastilloAC) November 23, 2021
Let’s face it, this roster has one shot at the big prize. But the future could be a different story, especially if the Stars close the deal with John Klingberg.
The Stars are the oldest team in the NHL. Yes, this season is important given the pending free agents in summer 2022.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) November 26, 2021
But the future isn't bleak either. Projecting Stars’ roster through 2025: How will today’s oldest NHL team look in three years? 👇🏽 https://t.co/zAv6Rp5PBP
Around The Leagues
The entire NHL took Turkey Day off, but there’s plenty of Black Friday action for the murderous Central Division:
- Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues, 2:30 p.m. CT
- Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets, 2:30 p.m. CT
- Nashville Predators vs. New Jersey Devils, 5 p.m. CT/
David isn’t the only one who’s giving the Thanksgiving Cutoff a side-eye. Stephen Whyno examines factors that may have distorted early-season results across the NHL.
Injuries and COVID-19 protocol absences have muddled the NHL standings throughout the first quarter of the season. The traditional Thanksgiving benchmark is not necessarily an indicator of who will make the playoffs.— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) November 25, 2021
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin continues his steady march up the all-time scoring charts, but this is another mark worth mentioning.
Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) has now scored against every active NHL opponent. 👀 pic.twitter.com/2KQat6IoWZ— NHL (@NHL) November 22, 2021
The Great 8 appears to be keeping it in perspective, though.
.@ovi8 waving to Ovi Jr. is the content we all needed tonight. 🥺❤️— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 25, 2021
📸: @NHL pic.twitter.com/VDuJiKVncv
So who’s still waiting for Ovi’s game to collapse because he’s too old or too lazy or he doesn’t backcheck enough?
COWAN: No sign of Capitals star Alex Ovechkin slowing down https://t.co/aYokVPS2k1— Canoe (@Canoe) November 25, 2021
COVID-19 could still throw a wrench into the NHL’s plans to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics. What happens if it does?
It's still unlikely, but contingency plans are in place 👀https://t.co/X20WHLJzTn— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) November 24, 2021
It’s here. Are you ready?
It’s officially Teddy Toss Szn pic.twitter.com/oC7775KRJw— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) November 26, 2021
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Idaho Steelheads say Happy Black Friday.
It's officially Black (out) Friday 🏴— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) November 26, 2021
Wear black to tonight's game against the Americans. We hear it's slimming after Thanksgiving. #FeelTheSteel pic.twitter.com/Kp0W4JfzJC
So do the Texas Stars.
HOLIDAY PACKS ARE BACK! 🤩— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) November 23, 2021
Starting at just $175, Holiday Packs include 10 undated ticket vouchers, a Texas Stars RCTIC Cooler, a 10% off merchandise coupon, and a Day Pass presented by Truth Fitness!
Purchase your Holiday Pack >> https://t.co/oEYKIh2URh pic.twitter.com/Q5LExgmiut
Meanwhile, Asher Rohm has the preview for this weekend’s series against the Manitoba Moose.
Series Preview: Texas Stars Travel North for Manitoba Matchup https://t.co/SdUA3QpsEW #txstars pic.twitter.com/0ns1rnsuZW— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) November 26, 2021
Anton Khudobin always wears quality cages, and Sylvie Marsolais is always there to help. Enjoy this preview of his new lid.
ANTON KHUDOBIN new @DallasStars @NHL paint job!! Help the sheriff 🤠 Dobby find the thief!!!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ @VaughnHockey pic.twitter.com/yqzS0CXNIv— Sylvie Marsolais (@Sylabrush) November 25, 2021